Basics of Artificial Sweeteners and What to Avoid

artificial sweeteners

Since the ketogenic diet requires such low carbohydrate consumption, and the premise of the diet is to keep insulin secretion as infrequent and low as possible. It sounds impossible to satiety that sweet tooth everyone experiences from time to time. Artificial sweeteners make it possible to have a sweet treat, without increasing your blood glucose, and derailing the progress you have made following the ketogenic diet.

 Here is a list of the most common artificial sweeteners used:

  • Sucralose
  • Acelfame Potassium (Ace K)
  • Aspartame
  • Saccharin

 Sucralose and aspartame are both some of the most heavily used, and extensively studied artificial sweetener available for use. Although there has been some evidence in rats that in can increase the risk of cancer, it is important to note that the doses given to rats were enormous, and highly unlikely to be consumed in such doses by humans. They are both safe to consume if you are not overdoing it and are consuming it infrequently. Ace K and Saccharin are both also considered to be safe to consume and are suitable options as an artificial sweetener as well. All artificial sweeteners that are consumed are not, digested, nor are they absorbed by the body. They pass through and are excreted.

Sugar alcohols:

  • Erythritol
  • Xylitol
  • Sorbitol

 Sugar alcohols are both naturally occurring in some fruits and vegetables and can be created from simple sugars. They are neither alcohol, nor sugar, but they chemically resemble both. They are not calorie free, and most of them contain about 2 calories per gram, with the exception of xylitol (which only has trace calories, approximately 0.2 calories per gram). It is important to note, that they are specifically made for people with diabetes and low carbohydrate diets. They are incompletely digested and absorbed, and because of that high consumption of sugar alcohols can cause gut discomfort, and there is some evidence of the gut microflora being affected by some of them.

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